Vardags enters its purple patch.
Ayesha Vardag has revealed that she decided to relax the most infamous dress code in law when she saw a new partner looking ‘fantastic’ in leather trousers.
But the limits have been lifted, sort of. “I want people to be elegant and to have appropriate gravitas and to show due respect to the clients that we’re dealing with, which are ultra high net worth individuals”, the firm’s founder told the BBC’s World at One show. “But within that, I have said express yourself, bring your personality to work - which is one of our core values.”
So, “If you want to wear gold leather trousers and an electric blue sequin jacket, that is absolutely fine by me, and I welcome that”, she said.
“It sounds like my estimation of elegance is slightly different from Ayesha’s”, responded a fellow guest.
However, Vardags still has standards. “I’ve made very clear I don’t want people turning up in hoodies. Unless they’re actually in the tech department which are hard-wired to wear hoodies.”
Acknowledging that “we’re particularly famous – I’m particularly famous – for requiring a particularly formal dress code, encouraging double cuff shirts and cufflinks and oxford lace-ups, and jackets not cardigans”, Vardag also revealed what prompted the change.
“I saw one of my new partners was about to go to a new partners’ dinner, and she was saying, ‘I’m sorry I’m not dress code compliant - I’m wearing my leather trousers because we’re about to go to dinner’. And I said, ‘God, but you look fantastic, you look so chiq - I think we need a new dress code’. And I sat down and wrote it straight away”.
The colourful divorce supremo indicated that getting staff back in the office was also a factor.
“One day…the pandemic happened and everyone got used to living in their pyjamas, and partly I had to lead the charge on bringing everybody back after the pandemic, and suddenly there’s lots of resistance to that, and you have to think, what is it about being in a community together and being at work together when you could do it all remotely?”
“There’s a sort of special magic about people being together, and there’s a chemistry and there’s an excitement, but in order to really have everyone benefit from that you have to have people able to be themselves.”
And Vardags staff have an awful lot of offices to attend, at first glance. A reader points out that the firm’s website lists 106 UK locations stretching from Mansfield to Peterborough, Yeovil to Nuneaton, and Hull to Carlisle.
There are 19 locations listed for London alone, plus an international presence that puts far larger firms to shame. The Monaco Desk, the Swiss Desk and 14 more comprise an impressive international network.
Vardags is everywhere!
However, a closer look reveals the firm hasn't quite taken over the UK, and that "From our offices in London, Oxford, Cambridge and Manchester, we have extensive coverage of England and Wales".
Vardags provided a statement, but ROF understands that parts of it could be defamatory so we are not publishing it.